U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis Oct. 29, 2021 / Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Denver Newsroom, Dec 1, 2021 / 17:52 pm (CNA).
President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support of Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, in response to a question about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could overturn the nation’s abortion precedent, though he said he did not listen to the oral arguments that took place earlier in the day.
“I didn’t see any of the debate today, the presentation today,” Biden said. “And I support Roe v. Wade.”
President Biden expresses his support for Roe v Wade as oral arguments for the historic #DobbsvJackson case are being heard by the Supreme Court. He says, “I support Roe v. Wade. I think it’s a rational position to take. And I continue to support it.” pic.twitter.com/HwexOxdWMJ
— EWTN News Nightly (@EWTNNewsNightly) December 1, 2021
Biden’s presidency, which has repeatedly reaffirmed and expanded access to abortion and abortion rights, has been a source of continued contraversy owing to his Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
“If Joe Biden had paid attention today, he would have heard the most rigorous debate the Supreme Court has ever had on abortion — the kind of debate all Americans deserve, but have been denied for almost 50 years since Roe v. Wade,” said Prudence Robertson of the Susan B. Anthony List.
“President Biden may have missed the debate at the Supreme Court today, but it’s impossible to miss how much technology has advanced in fetal development, how far women have come in being able to carve their own path without abortion, or the rise of pregnancy help centers across the nation that stand ready to help her not need an abortion,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International.
Megan Wold, an attorney practicing in appellate and constitutional law who is a former law clerk to Justice Samuel Alito and a former deputy solicitor general in Ohio, told CNA that “Roe v. Wade did not hold that abortion was simply rational, it held that abortion was so fundamental that states are obligated to allow abortion on demand until viability. That was wrong when Roe was decided and it is still wrong now.”
Wold continued: “I think the Supreme Court knows that. As we heard today, a majority of the court understands that Roe has no basis in the Constitution or in our history and traditions, and that the passage of time has only further exposed how deeply flawed Roe is.”
Andrea Trudden, senior director of communications and marketing for Heartbeat International, told CNA that if Biden had paid attention he “would have heard that women do not ‘need’ abortion to be successful. Through technological and scientific advances over the last 50 years, women have resources at their fingertips to help them overcome hurdles and set them up for success. Pregnancy help organizations offer compassionate care and support while providing practical needs to pregnant women through parenting classes, job training, and even housing so that no woman feels that abortion is her only option.”
Brian Burch, president of Catholic Vote, said that it was almost impossible for him to believe the president would not have tuned in to Wednesday’s oral arguments “given the historical significance of the case and the politics surrounding it.”
“I can’t help but think his conscience is agitating him. He knows he’s wrong, and yet persists in doubling down on defending the killing of millions of innocent children,” Burtch said of Biden.
During a press conference, Biden defended his support as the “rational position to take,” adding, “And I continue to support it.”
“Even former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg understood Roe was wrongly decided,” Godsey told CNA. “Keeping the country captive to a culture of death is far from rational. Women deserve better than abortion.”
“In 1974, Biden stated that I ‘went too far.’ Indeed, it put us in the company of a tiny handful of nations that allow abortion on demand more than halfway through pregnancy, when unborn babies can clearly feel pain, even up to birth,” Robertson of Susan B. Anthony said.
“That is the radical status quo our ‘devout’ Catholic president swears allegiance to today,” she said. “The American people and their elected representatives overwhelmingly reject this extremism. It’s time to restore their right to protect women and children.”
Added Burch: “The Holy Spirit doesn’t stop working, and neither should we.”